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Author Topic:  Your Thoughts on Alumitone Pickups?
Gary Cosden


From:
Florida, USA
Post Posted 17 Apr 2017 7:28 am     Reply with quote

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on these pickups if you have tried them out.
I know some people seem to get along with them fine and some don't and of course no 2 people hear things the same way.
Given that, what were your impressions? If you tried it and then decided to go with another pickup can you tell me why?
How do you feel they compared with the single coil or humbucker that you replaced? Thanks in advance for taking the time to respond.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 17 Apr 2017 7:49 am     Reply with quote

I bought a Zum and it had these pickups on it. If I would have kept the guitar, they would have come off.
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Nathan Guilford


From:
OKC, Oklahoma (where the wind comes sweeping down the plain)
Post Posted 17 Apr 2017 8:14 am     Reply with quote

I've got one on the E9 side of my 1976 MSA Classic D12. Very bright and low noise pickup. Works great for my steel and my fingers.
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post Posted 17 Apr 2017 8:23 am     Reply with quote

My RAM Speakeasy has one. It's clear and bright-sounding, not dark and muddy. And it's quiet as a church mouse. I have found that the best sound is achieved when it's adjusted farther from the strings than a traditional single-coil pickup.
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post Posted 17 Apr 2017 8:25 am     Reply with quote

There you are - first two replies quite opposite. What did you not like, Erv? I'm considering replacing a pair of single coils.
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Malcolm McMaster


From:
Beith Ayrshire Scotland
Post Posted 17 Apr 2017 8:54 am     Reply with quote

I have Alumitone pick up on my MSA Millenium, they sound great, also have a Truetone, it sounds great but on noisey stages ( lights or other interference) it can be a problem unlike the Alumitone.
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Last edited by Malcolm McMaster on 17 Apr 2017 8:56 am; edited 1 time in total
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 17 Apr 2017 8:56 am     Reply with quote

The above posters commented on how "bright" it sounded, I guess that was my complaint.
I prefer more of a mellow, full sound.
The Jerry Wallace TruTone is my favorite.
Different strokes for different folks, I guess. Very Happy
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Jon Schimek


From:
Boulder, Co - USA
Post Posted 17 Apr 2017 9:36 am     Reply with quote

At the same time, I had similar guitars with Alumitone, Emmons, and George L E-66 pickups. I use a NV400 with a Freeloader. The E66 and Emmons pickup were pretty good with similar EQ and Freeloader settings.... however, the Alumitone could be harsh if I didn't adjust the Freeloader to mellow the highs out a bit.

With EQ or Freeloader properly adjusted I found the Alumitones pretty sweet.

-Jon
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David Nugent


From:
Gum Spring, Va.
Post Posted 17 Apr 2017 10:51 am     Reply with quote

I consider the Alumitone to be the ideal replacement in a GFI 'Ultra'. The stock pickup (the'GFI II',which in actuality is a slightly modified George-L E-66)caused the guitar's tone to be brittle and harsh sounding to my ears. The Alumitone model that I chose was the 'Bass Bar' which is designed (as indicated)to be a replacement unit for a 5 string bass guitar. In the GFI it appeared to mellow the high end considerably and made the bass and mid range much more clear as well.
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Lee Baucum


From:
McAllen, Texas (Extreme South) The Final Frontier
Post Posted 18 Apr 2017 9:43 am     Reply with quote

I put one in my Mullen U-12 quite a few years ago. It sounded great, as good as the stock Mullen single coil pickup and better than any of the traditional humbucking pickups I tried.
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 18 Apr 2017 10:58 am     Reply with quote

My Carter D-10 (bought used) had them. They were too hot and harsh for my Mesa/Boogie amp. I replaced them with Tonealigners, and now I'm very happy with the sound of the guitar in any amp.
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Chris Bauer


From:
Nashville, TN USA
Post Posted 18 Apr 2017 11:50 am     Reply with quote

I love the clarity and string separation I get with them as well as the fact that they are so quiet. What I don't like is that they are so neutral-sounding to me that they lack any real character.

I'd happily trade a little bit of the quiet for some growl and bark.

I'm getting ready to swap the Alumnitones on my G2 out for ToneAligners.
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Howard Parker


From:
Clarksburg,MD USA
Post Posted 18 Apr 2017 12:23 pm     Reply with quote

I'm a big fan. I can get a significant amount of "bite" out of the pickup plus it's dead quiet!!

Confused yet? Laughing

h
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Ken Metcalf


From:
San Antonio Texas USA
Post Posted 19 Apr 2017 11:46 am     Reply with quote

My favorite pick-ups are single coil True tone / Emmons type.
I have not had a big noise problem with the TTs, maybe once in the last 5 years and that is on the venue's wiring.
I also like Alumitones. There are a lot of good pick-ups available out there not a lot of bad ones.
I have tried a lot of different PUs.

I happen to be able to pop out my true tone and put in an Alumitone to compare in a matter of seconds.
There is not a lot of difference in tone or volume. The TT is a hair brighter and slightly clearer on the bottom end but it is a very small and subtle difference.
The Alumitone has no noise of course and my TT only does with crappy electrical with lots of florescent lights.
Some time unplugging the beer lights helps and also helps video quality.
Also have tone knob for tone. Cool








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Gary Cosden


From:
Florida, USA
Post Posted 20 Apr 2017 3:16 am     Reply with quote

OK then. Great responses from everyone! Now I know they are either brighter, mellower, have more or less growl, and are either great or they suck out loud! I can't remember a more divisive topic. Obviously I am going to have to try one for myself which, being honest,I knew before I asked the question in the first place. If and when I do I'll be comparing the Alumitone to my current TT wound at 17K. I really suspect that one reason for such a wide range of opinions way be that the pickups might have a flatter response curve then humbuckers or single coils which could be difficult to evaluate given what we are all so used to hearing. Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 20 Apr 2017 7:38 am     Reply with quote

Gary,
I think the wide diversity of opinions is because of the different guitars that they are being used on.
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post Posted 20 Apr 2017 8:30 am     Reply with quote

Absolutely - the overall sound will always be part guitar, part pickup.

As the E-66 has been mentioned as a comparison, and because the Alumitone has been described as "bright" (for good or ill) I'm getting the impression that it might indeed be a good replacement for a single coil. Anyone agree?
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Ken Metcalf


From:
San Antonio Texas USA
Post Posted 20 Apr 2017 8:44 am     Reply with quote

Installation and adjustment is a factor...
If there was only some way I could compare the two?
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Richard Keller


From:
Deer Creek, Illinois, USA
Post Posted 20 Apr 2017 9:04 am     Reply with quote

I have Alumitones on my Emmons Legrande II
I think they sound good and are absolutely quiet.
I did have to modify the changer mounts like Jay Thompson to allow enough vertical space for the pickups since they are a little taller than other pickups.

Ken - I really like that quick change system on your MSA steel.


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Bob Carlucci


From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post Posted 23 Apr 2017 7:16 pm     Reply with quote

I had one in a Carter for a while.. it was the wrong pickup for me.. it was WAY too powerful, and simply could not be tamed.. At least not by me.... bob
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Ken Metcalf


From:
San Antonio Texas USA
Post Posted 24 Apr 2017 3:54 am     Reply with quote

If a pickup is too hot try lowering it.
On my Carter I ended up mounting the Alumitone directly to the body almost a 1/4 inch from the strings.
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Malcolm McMaster


From:
Beith Ayrshire Scotland
Post Posted 24 Apr 2017 4:15 am     Reply with quote

Ian, having both pickups, Alumitone and TT, I can say there is a great deal of similarity in sound, the Alumitone is definitely quieter, both great pickups.
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Douglas Schuch


From:
St John, US Virgin Islands
Post Posted 24 Apr 2017 4:27 am     Reply with quote

I like to do A/B tests with gear - only real way to know what you like. Over a few years I have found that nothing affects tone (other than swapping the player!) as much as the amp. I was surprised to discover that pickups did not make as much difference in my tests as the amp. I have two MSA's with the slide out pickups. One came with Alumitones, one with Tonealigners. Quite honestly, I did not hear a huge difference between them - a slight tweak of the amp settings could easily have made them sound the same. I did find the Alumitones a slight bit brighter than the ToneAligners. So at the moment I have the Alumitones in the E9 neck where I like a little brighter tone and the ToneAligners in the C6 neck. For the record, my tests were done with an old Goldface Stereo Steel through a Sica neo 15" speaker in an open-back cab. I suspect the differing opinions may stem as much from the amp paired with the P/U's as anything, except maybe just our differing tastes. Based on my and other's experience, if you like a brighter, crisp tone, then give them a try. If you prefer a bit darker, mellower tone, they probably are not the best choice.
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Ken Metcalf


From:
San Antonio Texas USA
Post Posted 24 Apr 2017 8:41 am     Reply with quote

Funny thing if people like your tone they will always ask what kind of pickups.
Like Douglas said it really is more the amp and the player.
You can buy a 59 Les Paul ZZ Top humbucker pickup, but it will not replicate a Les Paul through a 100 watt Marshall.
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ken collins


From:
Oklahoma City, OK.
Post Posted 24 Apr 2017 10:49 am     Alumitone pickup Reply with quote

Seems like most everyone agrees on bright or mellow sounds but I believe tone is pretty much perception. Just me, but the E-66 is a little bright for the high strings and when you tweak the amp to soften those, the lows become unclear. The Alumitone is very similar to me. The Gl 10-1 is my pu of choice. Just my two cents. Ken Collins
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